For a guy who loves to talk as much as our President, a fifteen minute speech barely gives his teleprompter a chance to warm-up.
Should we bomb everything that moves because Chemical Weapons are an affront to the civilized world, or should we trust that Russia’s Putin will help us hold Assad accountable by making him pinkie-promise to never kill his citizens in that particular way again?
What is clear is that nothing President Peace Prize said made much of an impact:
- Kirsten Powers, no war monger she, thinks the speech needed to have happened far sooner in order to have been truly meaningful,
- Paul Ryan, who’d been waiting for Obama to “make the argument”, came out today as a solid ‘No’ vote on intervention,
- Even Obama himself detracted from his own message by continually trying to scapegoat the Iraq War as the reason that message (whatever it is) was failing to gain traction.
What’s more, there are still a ton of essential questions that are as yet unanswered regarding any attack on Syria, which Heritage pointed out this morning:
Who would provide logistical support for the operation? Would there be a protection force? If so, who would provide it? The United States? Not likely, because the President has said there would be “no boots on the ground.” What about Russia? They may jump at the chance to bolster their position as Syria’s wartime ally, but how could we possibly trust them?
What about a United Nations force? First, there is no such thing. Nation states have to volunteer troops to a mission authorized by the U.N. Security Council. News that a bipartisan group in Congress is drafting a resolution to give the U.N. time to take control of Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons—possibly the largest cache in the world, with more than 1,000 tons of sarin and mustard gases, VX, and other precursor chemicals—is hardly reassuring.
Russia might approve a feckless inspection regime that it completely controls, but it made perfectly clear earlier today that it would not—as France proposed—allow over its veto a Chapter VII resolution that promises serious consequences should Syria fail to comply. Russia called France’s resolution unacceptable and is demanding a non-binding statement instead.
If the President was going to give those answers, last night was the time to at least hint at them. Seeing as how we’ve been tipping our cards to Syria for ages about our intentions, it’s not as if this would have compromised anything at this juncture.
Essentially we’re left with diametrically opposed messages within the same message: we need to punish Assad because he’s committed egregious crimes against humanity, yet waiting indefinitely is dandy, too. The situation compels us to conduct a deadly serious yet “unbelievably small” military offensive. Assad is a serious threat to our national security, …and then again, he’s no threat at all.
If you can divine any sense out of all this, you should apply for Cryptography school. Immediately.
ReasonTV had perhaps the best overall take, even allowing for the fact that they’re forsworn against most military actions. But their problems with the President’s Let’s-Go-To-War-Or-Maybe-Not speech were the same ones I had.
You be the judge: